children, gratitude, happiness, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

Compare and Contrast

When you have more than one child it is inevitable that you are going to compare them.  In fact, everyone will compare them.  This can be helpful when assessing your children’s developmental markers, predicting when their tantrum stage may end (0r not) and when trying to understand what makes each one tick.

It gets tricky when we get so caught up in labels that we sometimes forget to see what is right in front of us.

T.Puzzle has always appeared to be more timid and shy when compared to the robust nature of his older brother.  I’m not so sure anymore.

Watching him lead the Tiny Tiger oath during his graduation ceremony has led me to believe I may be  underestimating this kid.  His punches and kicks are not as intense as Full Speed’s at this age (see, there I go again with the comparing) and he tends to move at a slightly more calm pace (ever so slightly).  This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his own leadership qualities hidden underneath his rascally dimples.

Parenting should be less about labels and trying to figure out who our kids are going to be.  It’s more about letting who they are unfold naturally and all the glorious discoveries we will make about them as individuals along the way.

gratitude, happiness, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

Kick in the Pants

At the gym this morning as I was waiting for a class to start, I watched a fellow gym goer chase down her very active toddler son.  He darted into a room he didn’t belong and she had no choice but to follow.

She was exasperated and embarrassed.

Two ‘E’ words I have come to know and love over the course of raising my boys.

I said to her, “He reminds me so much of my boys.  I know exactly how you feel.”

She smiled blandly at me, squared her shoulders and finally overtook her little one by sheer force.

Looked like a typical Thursday morning to me.

Another member said, “So your boys were like that at that age?”

“Yes.  In fact my older one was about 100 times more active than that.  This kid is more my younger one’s speed.”

“Isn’t it great?,” she asked.

I looked at her and paused.  She was older, closer to a grandmother’s age than my own so she clearly had some experience to back up this question.

My pause made her continue.  “Wouldn’t you rather have kids full of life and personality than a kid who is dull and boring?”

And for the first time in my life it dawned on me that the answer to this question is a resounding ‘YES!

So remember that when you are about to lose it.

Or more likely, when you are beating yourself up over some behavioral misdeed of your perfectly normal, perfectly acceptable offspring.

Spirited kids are the ones who kick life in the pants.

I’ll take two please and hold the boring!

children, eyesight, gratitude, happiness, health, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

Limitless Sky

Life hands you challenges sometimes. When you are faced with these, it is often difficult to understand why.

I have two young boys that were born with a rare genetic eye disorder called ectopia lentis.

I don’t know exactly why this happened.

All I do know is that it has put us on a path in life that is beyond anything we expected. We have been connected to amazing people we never would have met otherwise. We have had to test our mettle over and over each time victorious in the knowledge that as a family, we can overcome any obstacle.

So, I may not know exactly why vision challenges came into our lives. At least now I’ve had time and growth to realize some of the amazing lessons that have gone along with it.

If we can do this, we can do anything.

Think about any challenge you have lived through or are living with right now. If you can do that, you can do anything, too.

The sky’s the limit.

This is a pic of the boys being introduced by the director at the Vision is Priceless annual fundraiser. We are very thankful to this organization for all they do. Check out their link in my blog roll.
gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, marriage, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

More Vacation Lessons

1.  Champagne mojitos are still the way to go.  Trust me, I tried every variety known to man such as frozen, straight up, fruit flavored and what have you.  The golden (and delicious!) standard of the original Royal Carribean champagne mojito cannot be beat.

our first day aboard with Mad Dog's parents. They thankfully enjoy champagne mojitos as much as we do!


2.  Getting your hair braided in Coco Cay, Bahamas is just as much fun today as having it done in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico when Mad Dog and I got engaged eight years ago. 

3.  When you are a Mom who rarely gets time away from her kids, something as simple as walking down a street with no Hotwheels, animal crackers or wipes in your purse, or better yet, absolutely no purse at all, is extremely liberating.  It almost feels like your are breaking the natural laws of the world and it feels fantastic.

4.  Sometimes, after a few hours have slipped by, you may find that you kinda of sorta miss the kids you left at home.  This twingey guilt can be quickly remedied with another round of champagne mojitos (see Lesson 1).

5.  This vacation helped solidify exactly how much Mad Dog must love me.  He willingly posed for so many pictures, it is possible we may have set a ship record.  For a man who greatly dislikes being photographed, he obviously loves the woman he is posing with.  Thank you, Mad Dog!

one of the several posed shots taken by the ship's photographers

6.  This cruise was the best I have ever experienced.  I have several theories as to why this is.  The most likely being that if you have achieved a level of happiness and acceptance in the life that you are leaving behind for a few days, it only multiplies in a setting of rest and relaxation.  And this time, I was more content than ever to return home and continue my adventures of motherhood.  

It’s good to be home and even better to hug my boys.

picture taken at Picture Me Portrait Studios
children, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self care (or lack thereof), self-discovery

Find ‘Me’

When Mad Dog travels, like he did over this past week, my life with the boys becomes slightly more adventurous.  Thankfully, lately, I have been appreciating these adventures more.  I also managed to miraculously schedule two dinners with friends (one I invited to the house after the boys were asleep) and a lunch with my mother-in-law.

I haven’t had that much social activity since the early nineties when children were a twinkle in my eye and my hair was taller than a full-grown palm tree.

It was rather strange.  While I was physically stretched to the max maintaining the family routine and meeting my social obligations this week, my spirit felt completely full. 

I’m learning that as my children grow and need me less,  I need to embrace this (as much as I can because it hurts ever so) and find myself a little more each day. 

That’s what friends and a fabulous mother-in-law are for.